Scott Prevails, Judge Orders Broward Election Official to Immediately Release Records

Florida Gov. Rick Scott addresses his election night party in Naples Florida where he had declared victory Tuesday over inc

Protesters have gathered outside the headquarters for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections as the county works to finish counting an unspecified number of votes from the midterm elections.

They are seeking an emergency hearing as the votes must be certified by noon Saturday. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sharply criticized what he described as Broward elections officials' poor handling of the official ballot count.

A judge ruled in favor Thursday of Gov. Rick Scott in a lawsuit over transparency in the election ballot counting in Broward County, Florida.

Mr Gillum trails Mr DeSantis now by less than 38,000 votes, which is in recount range if the margin holds. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by a percentage point of 0.47.

Scott, expressing concern about "rampant fraud" in the two counties, also directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the election offices. Broward's ballot printed vertical instructions, which the guidelines said "cannot share column space with contests - test voters often overlooked races located immediately beneath vertical instructions".

Ashley Moody, Republican candidate for attorney general, received more than 52 percent of the Keys vote over her opponent Sean Shaw. Bill Nelson with a 10-vote lead over Gov. Rick Scott in the race for U.S. Senate. Nelson's lawyer called that race a "jump ball" - though Scott's campaign urged Nelson to concede. "The supervisors, Brenda Snipes and Susan Booker, can not seem to say how many ballots still exist and where these ballots came from or where they have been".

Gretl Plessinger, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesperson, told CNN that the department reached out to the Florida Department of State to offer their assistance with any investigation involving the collection and tabulation of votes in the 2018 election.

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United States election: Florida Democrat calls for recount in tight Senate race
Trump claimed Nelson never called "to ask for my help" with Florida's problems and hailed Scott's response to hurricanes. Update: Marco Rubio's steamed about how Broward and Palm Beach counties are handling their responsibilities.

Meanwhile, inside the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office, the canvassing board got back to work hours behind schedule.

Scott said he will not accept the behavior of "unethical liberals". The race remains too close to call, with Nelson narrowly trailing Scott.

"This serves as an outright disenfranchisement and burden on the right to vote", Marc Elias, a lawyer with the Nelson campaign, told reporters during a conference call Friday.

Various political figures beyond Scott have leveled charges against Snipes for her alleged actions.

Both Florida and Georgia were preparing for ballot recounts on Friday, as contentious races for the US Senate and state governorships descended into controversy amid Republicans' accusations of Democratic vote tampering, and counter-questions about potentially confusing ballot papers.

Reaction over the senate race has drawn immediate comparisons to Florida's 2000 presidential election recount dispute that allowed Republican George W Bush to win the presidency. Kemp leads Abrams with 50.3% of the vote and has claimed victory, but Abrams, who would be the first female black governor in the USA, has yet to concede, saying that some votes have not yet been counted.

In the governor's race, Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign said Thursday it's readying for a possible recount.

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